Tonbridge Foresters CC vs. Stone CC, 21 May 2022

A visit to our second favourite Foresters (after the pub obvs) for game number five of 2022 at Tonbridge, who bizarrely requested a 34-overs per innings shindig. Much consternation in the away changing room over this, but at least there was a tea on offer from the hosts today. Victorious in the toss again, we threw them into bat on a reasonably sunny afternoon.

An early breakthrough from the Walkie Talkie – getting their opener to flick one to Rossington at first slip – was somewhat of a false dawn, as their other opener did his usual trick of blocking the fuck out of everything while their Number 3 settled in for the long haul. We kept it relatively tight for the first 20 overs, but matey at Number 3 took a fancy to our slower bowlers and Tonbridge gradually started to pile on a few too many until the blocker clubbed one to Muttley for a surprising 37, giving Walkie a second of the day. Muttley then got in on the act with a couple of quick-fire wickets of his own late on, but we couldn’t get rid of their main man and he ended up 80*, with Tonbridge closing their 34 overs on 141/4. Four drops from us didn’t help much either.

I hear the tea was alright. Some of us forgot the oppo were doing it and brought our own…

We were looking for a fast start to put ’em under pressure, and both Muttley and I found the boundary early on (featuring a big 6 from me!) as we worked up to 27 without loss before I fell to one that popped up, giving the man at square leg some catching practice. Dicky was in and out at Number 3 before you could say Sunderland 2-0 Wycombe, then Muttley broke his bat, borrowed mine, hit one a mile straight up in the air and the collapse was on. Rossington knows there are good leaves and hilarious leaves, and today his one was very funny – a rare golden for him. Walkie saw this as a direct threat to his Duck Cup title and duly went for fuck all as well. Sashi (batting in his Lord’s coat ‘cos he was chilly) and Dory hung around for a bit but neither really got going properly despite a couple of boundaries, going for 9 and 7 respectively. We put Stumpy down the order this week, mainly to give someone else a go as he has spent 1074 hours at the crease so far this year, but here he was attempting to save the day, top scoring with 17 and another 248 minutes before he went LBW. Dino got some use out of his shiny new bat, as he (13*) and an injured Gracie (4*) saw us to the close, Stone finishing on 99/8, and defeat by 42 runs.

Not much to write home about this week, we were a bit flat all round, but hey ho and bollocks to it. I don’t remember any awards being given, the editor will have to assist on that front… [none recorded –ed.]